This had better not be Apple’s iPhone 5

fake iphone 5

Early this week, the latest in a long line of Apple iPhone 5 rumors appeared online. This time around, it’s pictures of a Chinese iPhone 5 clone — not an authentic Apple design, reports Giz-China, which first published photos and video of the device. Now, I haven’t a clue whether this handset at all resembles what Apple plans to release. I can, however, guarantee one thing: If this is what the next iPhone looks like, I’m not buying one.

There is absolutely nothing spectacular about this phone, not a single design feature that distinguishes it from the bulging, monotonous hoard of Android devices now available, save the Apple logo on the back. It is not the future of smartphone design, as all Apple’s previous iPhone iterations have been. It is not even the present — I’ve seen a variety of mock-up designs that are vastly better. Even the current iPhone 4 is more aesthetically pleasing. The nicest thing I can say is that this forgery looks to me like a near-duplicate of the original iPhone, the dinosaur that arrived back in 2007 and has long since gone extinct.

Sure, this version might have a slightly thinner profile, lighter build and more curves than the iPhone 4 — but it’s nothing to lust over. It doesn’t have me salivating, or calculating how much I’ll have to save up each week to afford it when the phone finally hits shelves. The bezels on the top and bottom of the phone’s face are too large; the screen, too small. And the side buttons look like that of the iPhone 3G, only less elegant.

Of course, looks aren’t everything. The next iPhone will allegedly come loaded with the super-fast A5 processor, which currently powers the iPad 2. It’s also supposed to have a far better camera, and will surely run all the impressive features of the upcoming iOS 5 operating system better than any other device in Apple’s lineup.

fake iphone 5These predictable upgrades are not nearly enough, however, for me to lay down the hundreds of dollars it will certainly cost to snag the next iPhone, just as I wouldn’t spend the money on a device that was improved on the outside, but filled with inferior components.

Now that I’ve got all that bickering out of my system, I must say that I highly doubt the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 4S, or whatever other imaginary name we’re calling it these days) will look anything like the handset in the picture. Why? First, because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is anywhere close to the design of the next iPhone. Yes, it reportedly fits the new cases that have been popping up. But so what? Maybe those cases were made for this crappy knockoff. And second, because of all the design flaws I’ve already listed above. I can’t image Apple, which puts cutting edge design ahead of almost everything else, would release such a misshapen product.

In fact, the only presumption that makes this leak plausible is that, because the next iPhone is (or will be) produced in China, this Chinese counterfeit has the possibility of being based off of the real iPhone 5.

“Given that the iPhone 5 is probably being churned out of the factories as we speak—either in limited production runs or ramping up—I wouldn’t be surprised if someone got a prototype and sold it to some enterprising pirate company,” writes Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz about the “iPhoney.”

So, at best, the device in these pictures is merely a replica, a poor recreation. The almost imperceptible tweaks and details that Apple’s superior designers consistently manage to include in their products were lost in translation somewhere along the dark alley where these rip-offs are produced.

Of course, Diaz’s conjecture is perfectly credible in the Apple rumor mill — indeed, it is the Apple rumor mill. We’re all part of it, me and you included, because we love to imagine what Apple might have in store for us. Apple sells dreams, remember, not just gadgets. Whoever dreamed up this spurious design, however, apparently wasn’t trying particularly hard.

Come fall, when many believe Apple will unveil the fifth-generation iPhone, I predict that Apple will release something just as impressively stylish as it always has, a device you can’t take your eyes off of and never want to set down. Perhaps some of you think this design matches that description perfectly. But I, for one, expect something better.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.


The best iPhone deals for November 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for November 2018.

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.

The best iPhone XR cases to keep your phone shiny and new

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.

The MacBook is smaller, the MacBook Air is faster, but which is better?

This year, Apple's MacBook Air got a powerful internal upgrade, but the redesign makes it slimmer and lighter. So should you get the MacBook Air over the MacBook? We'll compare both notebook's major features and help you decide.

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.